BRAD     |     EMILLIE

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tripping over the tourists

Living near downtown Victoria, and spending much of my time in downtown Victoria, I felt pretty assured that I was used to tourists. There wasn't a day that went by without being asked to give directions to Craigdarroch Castle, or Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory or somewhere. But my exposure to tourists in quaint Victoria was ever so limited.

Having spent a sunny Saturday in Dublin, I now understand why Parisians treat anyone non-Parisian with disdain (I have to use a Paris metaphor because the Irish are always impeccably cheerful, despite the rain, fog, economy, unemployment, tourists, etc. I have theories about this stemming from the fact that everyone has at least 5 siblings, I even have a friend who is #9 of 12. I postulate that if you come from a large family, you learn to get along with people out of sheer necessity. It is an unfortunate side effect of having only 1 or 2 children that makes parents turn their children into over achieving super stars. Between attending art classes, tennis lessons and violin recitals, we are depriving our children of the ability to learn how to be regular people. It requires "unstructured play time" with other children to learn how to be friendly or suffer the consequences of being friendless.)

Back to Paris, it is not a factor of my stumbling French trying to order a Cafe au lait, nor the fact that I could possibly get lost on my way to Notre Dame that makes Parisians sigh at my "Gauche-ness"... but the fact that there are far too many people in line for that Cafe au lait and too many other tourists on their way to Notre Dame. I learned in April to give up on going to Temple Bar as the hoards of tourist made the streets impassible with a buggy (stroller). However this weekend everywhere in Dublin 2 and 1 was inundated with tourists. Huge tour groups clogged the intersections, making them impassible. There was a huge line-up at the cafe in Avoca (though the non-tourists know that there's always seating at the deli in the basement... but I'm still indignant as I was so looking forward to sitting at the cafe). We were hassled by the vendors and performers that were fishing for tourists. And what is up with those stupid viking tour buses where everyone is yelling "argh" at the top of their lungs, adding to the cacophony of the city.

At least Maynooth is mostly tourist free. However, in the summer, the campus is turned over to English Language students, so we do have large groups of Italian or Spanish teenagers milling about town. At least they keep the accordion player employed. On a bright note, the weather is supposedly going to improve, and next weekend we are going to join every other Irish family, and have a long weekend holiday.

Meanwhile I have created an arsenal of rainy day activities:
-help with washing up (washing the dishes -he's surprisingly good)
-help with hanging up the washing (laundry -again he's surprisingly good)
-(sub note, it took me a bit to figure out how to buy soaps, as dishwashing soap is called washing up liquid, and laundry detergent as it's called washing powder. I still haven't figured out Bio and Non-bio, but I'm sure I will google it soon... like now)
-make Guck (2 parts corn flour (corn starch) 1 part water)
-build a fort
-make cookies

Does anyone else have some neat ideas? Camera will be fixed soon (I hope!)

2 comments:

Bobbi said...

Call Grammi to read books - I have a new cache. Or: go to http://www.kids-cooking-activities.com/finger-paint-recipes.html
Put him in the bathtub and let him make finger paintings. Make sure he makes one for Grammi.
XOXO

Emillie said...

That is a brilliant idea. Bathtub painting.

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